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The Pentagon last week ordered the videotaping of all detainee interrogations conducted by military and defense personnel if the questioning is aimed at gathering "strategic intelligence" and is conducted on major U.S. military bases...
...The memo, posted late last week on a Defense Department website and confirmed by U.S. officials, would apply to the military's detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan
The videos showed CIA interrogators using waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique, on terrorism suspect Abu Zubaydah. The videos showed that interrogators did not follow the waterboarding procedures authorized by President George W. Bush's administration, the documents show.
"The large number of videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency engaged in a systematic attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations and to evade the court's order,"
It has been known for months that the CIA destroyed videotapes depicting its so-called enhanced interrogations of two al-Qaida suspects. With the government's latest disclosures, we now know that those two detainees were waterboarded, as the tapes might have revealed. The tapes' destruction potentially constitutes the crime of obstruction. By destroying them the CIA also disregarded a request from the 9/11 Commission for documentation that could provide information about the 9/11 attacks,
They were interrogation methods approved by the Department of Justice in memos sent to the CIA, and therefore shouldn't have been deemed a legal problem. The closest thing we come to answer is an internal CIA e-mail released last Thursday, in which an unidentified CIA officer writes that Rodriguez decided to destroy the tapes because they made the CIA "look horrible; it would be devastating to us."
The U.S. military does not regularly videotape interrogations and so far its review has found fewer than 50 tapes, according to Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.
The recordings are typically destroyed after 90 days, once interrogators and other military officials determine the videotapes no longer serve any intelligence or training purpose, the Pentagon said.
"Once the tape has outlived its usefulness, it is certainly within the rights, in fact I think it's within the orders of some divisions, to destroy those tapes," Morrell said.
if the questioning is aimed at gathering "strategic intelligence" and is conducted on major U.S. military bases.
specifically exclude interrogations by soldiers engaged in combat or those involved in gathering information on ground-level enemy tactics from the videotaping requirement.